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Rivalry in the Southeast: Preah Vihear Temple Dispute Between Cambodia and Thailand

Foreign Service Officer Thomas Donohue served in both continental and archipelagic Southeast Asia during a tumultuous period in which countries in the region and other parts of the globe were breaking away from European colonial powers. He witnessed first-hand the complex relations among regional countries. During his assignment in Cambodia from 1962 to 1964, both […]

The Aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis in Indonesia

During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, confidence in the Indonesian government plummeted. Foreign investment fled the country as the value of the rupiah fell to historic lows. Confronted with the loss of their bright futures, thousands of students poured out of the classroom to protest President Suharto’s crony capitalism. In the streets, rival factions of […]

The Politics of Water in the Middle East: U.S. “Good Offices” Mediation Between Jordan and Israel

For countries in the Jordan River Basin, water is a life-or-death matter. Disagreements and even armed skirmishes over water issues between Israel and Arab states played an important role in the lead-up to the 1967 Six Day War.  A decade later, USAID Foreign Service Officer Selig Taubenblatt found himself mediating long-standing water disagreements between Israel […]

Counterinsurgency in Eastern Afghanistan 2004-2008: Development

Chronic instability, beginning before the Soviet invasion, helped destroy Afghanistan’s already underdeveloped economy. After 9/11, the United States dedicated billions of dollars and significant human effort in the eastern part of the country and elsewhere in the form of aid, infrastructure projects, agriculture development, and investment in education. A number of agencies — including the Department […]

The Collapse of Order in the Middle East

Will Rogers once observed that “when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.”  It’s a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here.  And, boy, have we gotten into trouble!  We are trying to cope with the cumulative consequences of multiple failures.  Just about every […]

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Early American Diplomacy in the Near and Far East

  Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Early American Diplomacy in the Near and Far East: The Diplomatic and Personal History of Edmund Q. Roberts (1784–1836) The ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series has now reached fifty volumes with the publication of Early American Diplomacy in the Near and Far East by the late Ambassador Hermann F. Eilts, […]

Counterinsurgency and the Vietnam War

The United States Intelligence Community was, infamously, heavily involved in the Cold War. The tensions between the United States and the USSR dominated world affairs between 1945–1991, periodically erupting into “hot” conflicts beyond the two powers’ borders. Perhaps the most destructive of these conflicts was the Vietnam War, which extended from 1955–1975. In Vietnam, the […]